Don’t know what some word or phrase means? Don’t worry! No one else knew what it meant either,until someone explained it to them. This glossary (below), like this whole website, is here to unveil the process of law-making that shapes our lives and runs our state. And like the Resources page, it’s a working document that needs your help.
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|TERM||WHAT IT MEANS|
|Bill||A legislative proposal that if passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the governor becomes law. Each bill is assigned a bill number. HR denotes bills that originate in the House and S denotes bills that originate in the Senate.|
|Consent Calendar||This is a common voting procedure designed to limit debate on non-controversial bills and speed up the legislative process. The consent calendar combines a number of bills into one measure to be approved or rejected with a single vote by either the House or Senate. (See also "Regular Calendar.")|
|Co-Sponsor||A member or members that add his or her name formally in support of another member's bill. However, a co-sponsor is not required and therefore, not every bill has a co-sponsor or co-sponsors.|
|Germane||Relevant to the bill or business either chamber is addressing.|
|LSR||Legislative Service Request. If anyone - a legislator, a plumber, the governor, a little kid, anyone - wants a bill introduced to the House or Senate, the Legislative Service Office serves to produce the language for that proposed legislation.|
|President of the Senate||The leader of this legislative body. Among the many responsibilities and privileges of this post, the President of the Senate assigns legislators to standing committees (with the advice of the minority party floor leader) and assigns each proposed bill to a standing committee.|
|Regular Calendar||Bills that are placed on the House or Senate's regular calendar (as opposed to "consent calendar") are open for debate among legislators on session days. Typically, a formal, decisive vote follows the debate.|
|Roll Call||This is a type of vote in the House or Senate when each legislator's vote is recorded. Being more time-consuming than "consent calendar" votes or "voice votes," roll call votes are generally only held for more controversial bills, when legislators want to be seen as going on the record on a certain position — or when legislators want it to be known how their colleagues have voted. A roll call can be requested by any chamber member.|
|Speaker of the House||The leader of this legislative body, chosen by WHOM??? Among the many responsibilities and privileges of this post, the Speaker of the House assigns legislators to standing committees (with the advice of the minority party floor leader) and assigns each proposed bill to a standing committee.
|Sponsor||The original member who introduces a bill.|
|Standing Committee||Roughly comparable by subject of jurisdiction, standing committees in both the House and Senate hold hearings on every bill they are assigned. Members of House and Senate committees are appointed by the Speaker and President (respectively) with the advice of the minority party leader.
|Veto||A power that allows the President, a Governor or a Mayor to refuse approval of a piece of legislation. Federally, a President returns a vetoed bill to the Congress, generally with a message. Congress can accept the veto or attempt to override the veto by a 2/3 majority of those present and voting in both the House and the Senate.|
|Voice Vote||During a voice vote (which can be requested by any legislator), the entire chamber is given a chance to say Yay (yes) or Nay (no) on a particular bill or measure. The acting House Speaker or Senate President gauges which side had more votes. In the House, it's common for a legislator to request a "roll call" after a voice vote, if it's hard to tell which side won.|